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Publication: The Stranger
Author: Mizell, Larry
Date published: May 30, 2012

HIPHOP YA DON'T STOP

BOOMBOX MASSACRE AND MORE

You'll recall me mentioning the local producer Boombox Massacre, who's made it his artistic mission to showcase the harderedged aspects of Seattle and (especially) Tacoma hiphop. If that sounds like what you and/or the game has been missing, get it to the High Dive on Thursday, May 31, where you'll find High Point crew Bo$$ Fam Officials, Boombox himself, Tacoma's way-savage Second Family, Peta Tosh, and veteran 253 hitter Awall, aka Two- Piece. Boombox and Awall's Boomman and Mobbin' is the best Boombox project yet, a solid work of helmet-stomping, streetgameful, staunchly nontrendy G shit.

That same night, right down the street, you got worldwide PDX MC Illmaculate at Nectar, fresh offof a Euro tour with his Sandpeople familia, celebrating the release of his Skrill Talk LP. Portland quadruple OG Cool Nutz, also no stranger to international flights, is there rocking, too, and the whole thing is hosted by Grynch, who just got back from Europe himself, ridin' with Brother Ali and Grieves & Budo. It's guaranteed that not one of those guys brought me anything, from anywhere.

As for these Seattle streets, I caught the video for CD producer/MC Star Spazzin's "I'm from the Block," which was filmed, appropriately, right on the block. Starr's been around for a minute, if you didn't know-variously known as Shawn Starr, YungStarr, Choppavelli-I first peeped him on an unreleased D.Black track in 2007, and he's stayed at it ever since. His verses are bare bones and real: "Workin' at the Papa Murphy's didn't deserve me"-but the stirring cloud-rap production is what really struck me about it. Hard raps and heady, hazy beats just go so well together-and immediately recognizable in this video is Fatal Lucciauno, who I would love to hear over some similar production.

Rant time: Since it became cool for politicians (Big Ballin' Ass Barry Obama) and rappers (Jay-Z, 50 Cent) to let it be known where they stand on the oh-so-hotbutton issue of gay marriage, thank god for rappers really taking those bold stances and standing up for what's right, in 2012 and only since the president did it first. All the folks who've been fighting for their rights as human beings for years must feel so much better? So Jay goes on record being cool with gay marriage, while Action Bronson tweets: "I love Gay People. Trannies not so much." Thousands of followers, smirking, stare at their smartphones, reply "LOL." Yeah, rappers and the people who love them tend to be about as accepting as Strom Thurmond- and have so many good reasons why that is, from God to "gross." Dehumanizing people is one of America's longtime specialties, and rap, music of the marginalized, gladly pushes the oppressor's evil or just stays silent-which is totally the same thing. Not saying my shit don't stink, 'cause believe you me, it do-just saying. Love to all my gay friends, my queer friends, my trans friends, my friends who reject mainstream classification, and, yes, all my dumbass friends, too. We all really do just need some love.

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